Need to win gold in Asian games, nothing else will do: Savita

New Delhi, Oct 07 (PTI): The Indian women’s hockey team will settle for nothing less than a gold in next year’s Asian Games to seal a direct ticket to 2024 Paris Olympics, said goalkeeper Savita Punia.
The Indian women’s team had produced a historic fourth place finish at the Tokyo Games after losing 3-4 to defending champions Great Britain and Savita said the team is focussed to do well in the upcoming events, especially Asian Games, to get over the pain of missing out on an Olympic medal.
“The whole world has supported us after our fourth place finish at Olympics but when you get so close to a medal and come back empty handed, it is a kind of pain which only athletes can understand. So we want to go tournament wise,” she said during a virtual press-conference on Thursday.
“Our main focus is on the Asia Cup, which is a World Cup qualifier and then there will be World Cup and then it will be the Asian Games.”
The last time Indian women’s team won a gold at the Asian Games was in the 1982 edition and Savita said the side will need to go all out this time after settling for a silver at the 2018 edition.
“Of course coming fourth in the Olympics took a lot of effort but just like we missed the bronze at Olympics, we had missed the gold in last Asian Games, so we need to put extra effort,” said the senior India player, who won the best goalkeeper recognition in the women’s eection in the FIH annual awards this year.
“We know how we struggled to qualify for the Olympics after missing the gold, so it will be the biggest tournament for us next year. We will need to produce a gold at the Asian Games, nothing else will do.
“Just talking about it won’t help, we will have to take responsibility individually to work on ourself and start now.”

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